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Foxes devour Swans to go 8 points clear

Leicester City 4:0 Swansea City

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City took a step closer to the title with a convincing 4-0 victory over Swansea at the KPS on Sunday to go eight points clear at the top of the Premier League with just three games to play…

With Vardy suspended, Claudio Ranieri played Ulloa and Okazaki up front , with Schlupp in for Albrighton.
Although Swansea were the first to deliver a ball into the box, it came to nothing, and City were then gifted an 11th minute lead.
Williams’ slightly leisurely clearance struck Mahrez and the Algerian international showed great composure to finish, with Fabianski perhaps expecting a curling effort into the far corner, Mahrez simply fired it in at the near post.
It was the start City needed to calm any nerves, and they never looked back.
With City’s midfield bossing the play, Fuchs and Okazaki both threatened the Swans goal, before City extended their lead on the half hour.
After a battle between Morgan and Routledge out on the left ended with a free-kick to City, Drinkwater delivered a perfect ball into the area for Ulloa to nod home from 6 yards.

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It was tempting to think ‘game over’ at this stage, but Swansea enjoyed their best spell of the game up to half-time.
But of the two free-kicks their pressure gained, one was headed narrowly over by Fernandez and the other, a shot from Sigurdsson, may have been heading for the post when Schmiechel tipped it round. And so City took a precious 2-0 lead in with them at the break.

Swansea had an early chance in the second half when a well-placed Ayew failed to test Schmeichel with a weak header, but it was all over by the hour mark.
Schlupp charged after a Schmeichel clearance down the left, beating two defenders and cutting in on goal. He unselfishly attempted to square to Ulloa, but Williams blocked. However, the ball fell nicely for Schlupp to cross again and Ulloa slid the ball in at the far post, sparking huge celebrations.

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Barring an Ayew header into the side-netting, it was one-way traffic now, with City in irresistible form.
Schlupp forced a fine save from Fabianski and miscued a couple of other efforts.
Okazaki fired a shot over the bar, and then King (on for Ulloa who picked up a knock to his back) tested Fabianski again with a low shot.
City’s fourth goal arrived with five minutes remaining. Gray went on a run down the right, and just kept running. At one point it was almost comedic with four Swansea defenders chasing after him. After cutting in, the youngster chipped a ball to the far, post, King headed it back across goal, but Gray’s first time effort was pushed out by Fabianski… only as far as Albrighton who gleefully rifled it home, having only been on the pitch for three minutes.

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City ended the day eight points clear, knowing that two more wins would seal the club’s first ever title. With every week bringing a new landmark, they now can’t finish outside the top two and, later that evening, Riyad Mahrez was crowned PFA Player of the Season.

Speculation about how City would cope without Vardy had been answered with four goals:
“It was a magnificent performance,” said Claudio. “Without Jamie, everyone else had to give that bit more. It was great to see my players fight. We had some difficulties, but everybody made sure we had a good match. Now it is important for us to make our dreams a reality. Now is the right moment to give everything.”

* Credit where it is due: maybe it was the light and shade effect but referee Mark Clattenburg appeared to come up with the perfect refereeing performance.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Kanté, Schlupp (Albrighton 82), Mahrez, Okazaki (Gray 73), Ulloa (King 79). Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Wasilewski, Chilwell, Amartey.
Swansea: Fabianski, Taylor, Williams, Rangel, Fernandez, Britton, Cork, Fer (Paloschi 46), Routledge (Montero 46), Ayew, Sigurdsson (Ki 75). Subs Not Used: Amat, Nordfeldt, Naughton, Barrow.

Referee: M Clattenburg. Attendance: 31,962.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.


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Leicester go top as Mahrez hat-trick sees off Swans

Swansea City 0:3 Leicester City

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City regained top spot in the Premier League with a 3-0 win at Swansea, thanks to a Riyad Mahrez hat-trick…

Claudio Ranieri made one change to his side for this long trip to South Wales, with Ulloa back in for Okazaki.
City started brightly against a Swans side desperate for a win, and were ahead by the 5th minute.
The persistence of Vardy won a corner on the left, which Albrighton swung into the six yard area. Mahrez gained half a yard on Ki Sung-Yueng and appeared to divert the ball past Fabianski with his hip to give City an early lead.
Ten minutes later the lead should have been doubled as Vardy intercepted a Bartley clearance to go clear on goal. However, he failed to find the net placing his shot too close to Fabianski, who saved comfortably.
City went further ahead in the 22nd minute when Kanté delivered a perfect crossfield pass to send Mahrez in on goal, and he jabbed the ball to Fabianski’s right for a cool finish.
Mahrez should then have completed a first half hat-trick when Ulloa set him up, but his finish was too casual and Fabianski denied him.
Mahrez then returned the favour teeing up Ulloa with a chance but the Argentinian sent his shot well wide from a good position.
City had to be content with a 2-0 lead at the break when it could have been 5-0.

Swansea, with Montero on for Routledge, began the second half in more determined fashion. An early Sigurdsson free-kick from the right was headed against the bar by an unmarked Ki.
Sigurdsson then launched a shot over when well-placed but City weathered this spell of pressure from the home side and were soon running proceedings again.
In the 67th minute they put the game beyond the home side’s reach. Kanté charged forward on the break and fed Vardy in the box, who set up Mahrez, who fired beyond Fabianski’s reach to complete his first ever hat-trick.

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With the match won, the game within a game was trying to set Vardy up for a goal to keep his record breaking scoring run going.
Vardy applied a fantastic first touch to a Drinkwater ball but fired his shot over the bar, and then found the side-netting from an acute angle.
At the other end Schmeichel instinctively blocked a Gomis effort and Sigurdsson’s struck the post.
King and Schlupp came on late, but the fresh legs couldn’t tee Vardy up for a chance and the final whistle brought an end to his incredible run.

However, a Mahrez hat-trick and City returning to the top of the Premier League meant it had been another fantastic day for Leicester in this amazing season.
Claudio Ranieri commented: “It was so pleasing to see that when Jamie had a chance to score, he passed to Mahrez so he could have his hat-trick. It was like giving him a penalty kick, it is a good link between them.
I am so pleased with the performance because I was worried about Swansea. They had only one win in 10 games and wanted to react, so I asked us to stay together and not spread out as they would kill us.”

Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Bartley, Williams, Taylor, Britton (Barrow 63), Ki (Cork 78), Sigurdsson, Ayew, Routledge (Montero 46), Gomis. Subs Not Used: Nordfeldt, Rangel, Fernandez, Cork, Emnes.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Mahrez (Schlupp 90), Kanté, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Ulloa (King 87), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Okazaki, Wasilewski, Benalouane, Schwarzer, Inter.

Referee: M Oliver. Attendance: 20,836.


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For just £16.00 they will receive a gift-wrapped parcel containing the issues we have brought out this season – the Summer Special 2015, October issue and new December issue, plus two 8″ x 6″ prints of City legends Keith Weller and Frank Worthington, plus a set of 50 cigarette cards. 

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Leicester on the up after Swansea are beaten at the King Power

Leicester City 2:0 Swansea City

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City’s revival extended to three consecutive wins after a spirited 2-0 victory over Swansea at the KPS on Saturday…

Nigel Pearson made three changes, with Wasilewski, King and Kramarić coming in. But plans were disrupted during the warm-up when Nugent strained a calf and Ulloa was promoted from the bench.
City were set up to attack and did that from the first whistle – taking the lead after a quarter of an hour.
A long ball forward from Wasilewski was diverted by Morgan into the path of Ulloa who gleefully slotted it home from 8 yards.

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Soon after that opening goal had raised the crowd to a new pitch of excitement, Albrighton made good progress through the Swans defence but couldn’t apply the finishing touch, sending his shot wide of the left hand post.
The visitors had their first on target effort when a Sigurdsson shot was comfortably fielded by Schmeichel.
They then gained more possession up to the break, but didn’t come close to an equaliser.

Pearson brought De Laet on for Wasilewski for the second half as City went for the jugular again.
Albrighton and Kramarić both went close before Ulloa sent a header just over the bar, but Swansea also threatened.
Schmeichel produced a fine block with his left leg to deny Oliveira in a one-on-one and then got down well to a Shelvey effort to preserve City’s lead.
Pearson then brought on Mahrez for Ulloa and Drinkwater for Kramarić.
From a Swansea corner City broke upfield at pace and Vardy fed Mahrez perhaps slightly too late allowing Fabiański to come out and block his effort.
City broke again when Drinkwater sent Vardy clear on goal, and he was bundled over by Williams for a clear cut penalty, but yet again this season the ref didn’t agree.
Vardy sent a shot over and then Mahrez forced a good save from Fabiański with a low shot as the tension mounted in the final ten minutes. That was finally relieved with a minute left on the clock when City doubled their lead.
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Cambiasso, who had been superb all afternoon, fired a 20 yard free-kick through the wall which seemed to deceive Fabiański at the last moment. It bounced back off his knee to King who bundled it over the line from close in to get the KPS bouncing.
For the first time since November City were off the bottom of the Premier League and after some jubilant scenes at the end of the game Nigel Pearson urged some caution: “The danger is that people start believing that the job is done. It is far from it; there’s still a long way to go. We have still got six games left and we have to get as many points as possible from them, which is going to be a big challenge.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Huth, Wasilewski (De Laet 46), Morgan, Schlupp, King, Cambiasso, Albrighton, Ulloa (Mahrez 68), Vardy, Kramarić (Drinkwater 74). Subs Not Used: Konchesky, James, Lawrence, Schwarzer.
Swansea: Fabiański, Amat, Ki (Montero 58), Williams, Shelvey, Routledge (Dyer 70), Oliveira (Emnes 75), Rangel, Sigurdsson, Cork, Fernández. Subs Not Used: Britton, Grimes, Tremmel, Bartley.
Referee: L Probert. Attendance: 31,121.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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Leicester’s poor run continues at Swansea

Swansea City 2:0 Leicester City

City’s recent poor run extended to 1 point out of 12 as two goals from Bony gave Swansea a comfortable victory at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday evening…
Nigel Pearson made four changes to his side with Vardy, Nugent, Mahrez and Hammond in for James, Cambiasso, Albrighton and Schlupp.
Swansea made all the early running against a disjointed looking City side, though their first real chance chance from a miscued ball out from Schmeichel. The City keeper gifted the ball to Sigurdsson, but Morgan managed to nip in with a precise ball-winning challenge as the Icelander lined up his shot.
The Swans’ dominance finally bore fruit in the 35th minute when superb passing move led to Sigurdsson setting up Bony for a precise finish past Schmeichel.
With City producing very little going forward it was difficult to see how they could haul themselves back into the game, though they went close soon after the break. A long throw from Moore out on the right bounced right into the six yard area, and Shelvey got a touch before it looped over Fabianski and on to the crossbar.
Mahrez then sent a shot well over before Drinkwater forced a good save from Fabianski, as City enjoyed their best spell of the game.
But any hopes of a comeback were extinguished in the 57th minute when Bony grabbed a second after being teed up by Montero, as City’s marking broke down.
Shelvey then struck the crossbar with a fierce 30 yarder, before Mahrez sent a low effort inches wide of the post.
 The 67th minute saw a triple-substitution for the visitors with King, James and Cambiasso on for Vardy, Hammond and Drinkwater.
But they rarely troubled the Swans.
One chance late on saw Fabianski save from King, but then Cambiasso could only find the woodwork from inches out and the keeper scooped the ball to safety.
It was another poor outing for City, who now face a November schedule against lower placed sides that must yield at least 6 points if they aren’t to find themselves in trouble.
Swansea: Fabianski, Taylor, Ki, Williams, Shelvey, Bony (Gomis 82), Routledge (Dyer 82), Montero, Rangel, Sigurdsson (Carroll 57), Fernandez. Subs Not Used: Tremmel, Emnes, Bartley, Shepherd.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Drinkwater (Cambiasso 67), Morgan, Hammond (King 67), Vardy (James 67), Moore, Ulloa, Mahrez, Nugent. Subs Not Used: Schlupp, Wasilewski, Smith, Wood.
Referee: M Jones. Attendance: 20,259.

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Foxes See Off Swans

Leicester City 2:1 Swansea City

City’s play-off hopes were advanced at Filbert Way on Monday afternoon as they defeated second placed Swansea in a tight encounter…

Sven Goran Eriksson made one change to the side that won at Hull with Berner in for leg-break victim Cunningham at left-back.
City started brightly and Gallagher had already gone close when City took a 6th minute lead.
Gallagher’s corner from the right wasn’t cleared properly and fell for Berner to nod home a darting header from close in. It wasn’t quite a goal direct from a corner, but was the nearest thing we have had this season.
City’s lead lasted only until the 12th minute, when Sinclair skilfully picked his way through our defence before sending a well-flighted 20 yarder beyond Weale and into the bottom right hand corner.
The rest of the half was a cagey affair, with few attempts on goal and both defences on top. City tried to send Vassell through on several occasions but didn’t boss the midfield enough to create any meaningful pressure.
Two minutes before the break, when it looked as though the sides would go down the tunnel all-square, City made a breakthrough. Again Gallagher delivered a corner from the right into the goalmouth. De Vries did well to get down to a Morrison header and save on the line, but Vassell was handily placed to prod the ball home.
The half time whistle saw a remarkable ovation for Berner in his comeback game, for his goal as well as his superb first half performance.
The second half saw an intriguingly tight contest. King sent a header wide and Vassell sent an effort straight at De Vries but chances were few and far between. The defining moment of the second half came in the 77th minute. Swansea, with all three subs on, broke swiftly and set up a chance for Sinclair. With only Weale to beat, his low shot beat the keeper but also the right hand post.  
City did a good job of closing the game out and there was no late drama as they proved themselves better than the second placed team.

Sven was happy with six points from two New Year games: “It was a big win against a very good football team. They are physically strong, well organised, aggressive and they play the ball very well. So it was a big win for us. I am happy and proud of the players. They stood up to them physically, matched them and scored two goals.”

Leicester: Weale, Berner, Hobbs, Morrison, Naughton, King, Dyer (Oakley 84), Abe, Wellens, Gallagher, Vassell (Waghorn 84). Subs Not Used: Logan, Howard, Moreno, Moussa, Mee.
Swansea: De Vries, Williams, Monk, Rangel, Pratley, Cotterill, Gower (Dyer 75), Sinclair, Agustien (Allen 72), Richards, Easter (Beattie 67). Subs Not Used: Dobbie, Makaba-Makalamby, Serran, Lucas.

Referee: D Deadman (Cheshunt). Attendance: 21,656.


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Swans on Song

Swansea City 2: 0 Leicester City

City suffered their first defeat since the departure of Paolo Sousa at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday and were outplayed all over the park by a decent Swansea side…
Sven, surprisingly, made three changes to the side that had played so well at Leeds just  four days earlier with Fryatt and Dyer returning for Waghorn and Gallagher and (on loan) Jack Cunningham making his debut in place of the unfortunate Berner.
Swansea started brightly and immediately had City on the back foot with a pressing game that they were never able to deal with. This meant that City never settled in to any sort of rhythm and continually gave the ball away as Swansea worked tirelessly to chase and close-down in a high tempo performance. Despite all of their possession the Swans didn’t fashion many chances and their best effort came as the result of a slip from the below-par Hobbs who lost possession. The ball was quickly fed out to Dyer whose perfect cross was lifted over the bar by Pratley under pressure from Wellens.
In reply City were restricted to long range efforts and one header from Davies that was tipped over by DeVries. 
If City fans thought that the second half would bring an improvement then they were sorely disappointed.
In the 49th minute, half time substitute Emnes (on loan from Middlesbrough) ran on to an excellent through ball from Pratley and slammed the ball past Weale who got a hand to the shot but couldn’t prevent the goal. It was no more than Swansea deserved and led to a period of sustained pressure where City were unable to get out of their own half at times as Swansea kept the ball.
Weale had to deal with efforts from Sinclair and Tate and at the other end De Vries looked bored and lonely as City struggled to cope with Swansea’s purple patch, which nearly resulted in a second goal when Sinclair rounded off another delightful move with a shot against the underside of the bar.
The addition of Waghorn, Morrison and Abe for King, Moussa and Davies gave City some fresh legs and as Swansea tired they were able to build a spell of pressure in the closing stages of the game. De Vries was well positioned to save Oakley’s free kick before Morrison had a gilt-edged chance to equalise. A corner was only half cleared and fell kindly to Morrison, unmarked just six yards out but he volleyed the ball wide of the far post for what would have been an unlikely equaliser.
Swansea wrapped the game up in the fourth minute of injury time when, once again, Hobbs was caught out and Emnes powered past him far too easily to set up Sinclair for a side-foot finish and a more realistic scoreline. 

It is hard to know why City were so ineffective today having been so good at Leeds in midweek. Swansea were everything that we weren’t: hard-working, kept the ball well, pressed and chased, passed the ball around superbly and broke quickly. Whilst it is easy to condemn an off-form Leicester side, credit should also be given to an impressive Swansea side who went third after this result and deservedly so on today’s showing.

Swansea: De Vries, Tate, Williams, Monk, Rangel, Pratley, Sinclair, Orlandi (Agustien 69), Dyer, Allen (Serran 89), Dobbie (Emnes 46). Subs Not Used: Makaba-Makalamby, Cotterill, Taylor, Nouble.
Leicester: Weale, Davies (Morrison 67), Hobbs, Naughton, King (Waghorn 70), Dyer, Oakley, Moussa (Abe 58), Wellens, Cunningham, Fryatt. Subs Not Used: Berner, Logan, Howard, Moreno.

 Referee: K Stroud (Hampshire). Attendance: 14,651.

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Paulo Sousa to be new Leicester Manager

Former Portugal international Paulo Sousa will be Leicester City’s first foreign manager when the deal is wrapped up over the next couple of days.

The 39-year old, who has managed at QPR and Swansea, is currently in negotiations with chief executive Lee Hoos, but will not officially be unveiled as the new City boss until Milan Mandaric returns from an overseas trip.

Mandaric told the Mercury that City do not need to sell their prize assets: “I will not be selling any of our best players. I am not under any pressure to do so. If I sell them then that means I have been telling you the wrong things. We are ambitious and we want to add to our best players. Everyone who contributed last season will get a chance with the new manager.”

Rumours persist that a Thai consortium are on the verge of buying the club, after a group of far-eastern businessmen were shown round the Walkers Stadium and Belvoir Drive last week…

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